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  1. Now this a Group Build I could not avoid participating in, in spite of the fact that I am incredibly poor at delivering anything, whether it is a group build or a "standard" build. But, as this is me era of predilection, and I have been a proponent of the theme, the least I could do was to show my support and participate ... I had to make choices in the (ever-extending) stash, and I went for the esoteric : a vac-formed model of a French racer and record plane : the Nieuport Sesquiplan In the early 20s, this aircraft has beaten a number of speed records, in the hands of the famous (in his time) pilot Sadi Lecointe, and Georges Kirsch. It was the first aircraft to fly above 200 mph, on September 26th, 1921. Highly streamlined, with Lamblin radiators ("lobster pots"), it was influential in its time and inspired other aircrafts looking for ever-higher speeds. I fetched the 1/32 Air Craft vacform kit of this one on ebay some time ago, the kit dating back to 1996. Air Craft was a UK cottage industry producer, and I confess I do not know what they became. First, the pic of the box : And its content : three sheets of nicely done (female-molding) plastic parts, plus some white metal parts for the prop, the Lamblin lobster pots, the prop-boss and the tail skid. Not included in the pics are some Contrail streamlined struts. Finally, a detailed instruction sheet with drawings and explanations, and a mini decal sheet with the numbers for "6" , Lecointe's red-tailed aircraft, or Kirsch's blue-tailed "7". The kit is of really high quality, the sheets having been formed in female molds, i.e. the plastic sheets have been "sucked-in" the molds (rather than formed over a postive master). Thus the details and surface are really sharp and neat, with great definition. The best among vac-form kits IMHO. Vacforms, especially of this quality are less daunting than they look. The dreaded separation of the parts from the backing sheet is fairly straightforward, and does not take that long. First, use a Sharpie pen with a flat head to draw along the countours of the parts : Then, gently score with a knife along the perimeter of the part. Do not try to cut through the plastic : this would just risk cutting through the part. You can then snap the part from the backing sheet. This is where the sharpie black line will help : the backing sheet apears as a thin white line, that needs to be sanded away. When you reach the black line, you have sanded enough ! Then starts a quick sanding on a wet-and-dry sandpaper sheet, (using circular motions to avoid oversanding some areas), like this : In the case of the Sesquiplan, the half-fuselages are molded with a hefty "filling"for the top cowling and front of the fuselage, that you need to keep until the basic sanding is done. You can then cut it away, this time by scoring gently but repeatedly along the lines, to discard the unwanted plastic. The half-fuselahe then looks like this : All in all, it has taken me less than 15 minutes to end up with the ready-to-use left half of the fuselage. TBC Hubert
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